[Lecture Briefing] A Brief Introduction to the IMF
[Lecture Briefing] A Brief Introduction to the IMF
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  • 승인 2007.05.01 00:00
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Kwak Kyung ('96, French Language & Literature), a legal counsel at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), gave an introduction to the IMF’s roles and functions on April 4 at the International Education Building invited by Professor Jasper Kim as a guest speaker for a course titled International Law Foundations.

The lecture was designed to provide a deeper knowledge of the IMF, and motivate Ewha students by offering them a chance to meet a Ewha graduate who is currently working in an international financial field. The lecture was presented to explain the purposes of the IMF, grant of memberships and capital, and three main functions of the IMF.

             The IMF is an international organization that consists of 185 member countries. It was established to promote international market cooperation and provide a forum on financial collaboration of international marketing problems. The institution is responsible for maintaining the stability of the international monetary system, exchange-rate system, and for providing solutions to economic crises.

             In terms of selecting a new financial policy or generating a consensus, member quotas and capital play a major role. Each member is assigned a quota which is broadly determined by economic positions. Economic consideration includes the member’s GDP, volume of current account transactions, and official reserves. Pointing to a graphic chart that outlined the amount of quotas exercised, Kwak said, “As you can see, the U.S. alone has 17.14 percent of quotas when the Asia Pacific countries altogether account for the mere 20 percent. However, the political economy in Asia Pacific is undergoing through a rapid transformation, and experts within the IMF are analyzing the current situation in order to undoubtedly alter by redistributing more quotas to Asia Pasific nations in order to well reflect the nations’ changing economic powers .China’s rise and South Korea’s economic boom must have produced such a transition.”

             Kwak then moved on to the three functional operations of the IMF—which involve surveillance, financial assistance, and technical assistance. IMF surveillance is a process of monitoring and consultation which is an integral part of the IMF activities since the core responsibility of the IMF is to encourage a dialogue among its member countries on the consequences of their economic and financial policies, to promote external stability. Kwak added, “In today’s globalized economy, where the economic and financial policies of one country may affect many other countries, international cooperation to monitor economic developments on a global scale in essential. With its membership of 185 countries, IMF surveillance provides the mechanism for this cooperation.”

             Financial assistance and technical assistance are literally the procedure of lending low-interest loans and systematically supporting the low-income countries for them to effectively manage their economic policy and financial affairs. As the lecture concluded, a short question and answer session followed.

             Since the lecture was provided during the class for students in Division of International Studies (DIS), a lot of students were interested about her tips in becoming an international lawyer to work for such a renowned global organization. Kim Ji-yeon (International Studies, 2) asked how Kwak ended up working in international organizations rather than the private law firms when majority of the lawyers prefer working in law firms to earn high income. And Kwak answered, “I also have an experience of working at a law firm in Brussels, but always wanted to work in IMF regarding my active participation. Whereas working at law firms merely presented me an opportunity of interpreting the articles, I was actually able to participate in the policy-making process in IMF. Moreover, I found it very rewarding working there because it makes me feel like an international civil worker myself.”

             Another student, Moon Jae-seon (International Studies, 2) inquired Kwak about her position in IMF. Kwak answered, “I am responsible for the 16 member countries of the IMF. I examine correct measures of the economic system, deal with contract disputes between those member countries and also write legal journals relating to IMF. Unlike your expectation, a lawyer does not always stand in court but can mainly offer a legal consultation to her legal customers. As far as my role in IMF is concerned, this is what I do.”

             Kwak concluded her lecture by offering tips for the students who wish to become a international lawyer someday. “Do not just rush into entering law schools under a pressure to choose a career. Prepare gradually to have a high LSAT (Law School Admissions Test) score and finally enter the top prestigious law schools. Never choose a school where the tuition is cheap or the course is completed in short period of time because their brand names reflect your competency. This can be basic but the most important—strive hard to get good GPA during your college years and work hard to win the competition.”


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